SAFE HANDS: Brothers Kangaroos player Dylan Bradey takes a mark in his team’s win over Gladstone in the AFL Capricornia season opener on Saturday. Picture: Jann Houley
SAFE HANDS: Brothers Kangaroos player Dylan Bradey takes a mark in his team’s win over Gladstone in the AFL Capricornia season opener on Saturday. Picture: Jann Houley

Brothers shine in skipper Smithwick’s milestone game

AFL: Brothers Kangaroos celebrated their skipper Scott Smithwick’s 200th game with a comprehensive victory over Gladstone in the AFL Capricornia season opener on Saturday.

Playing at home, Brothers were able to withstand an early charge from the visitors, taking control in the second half to run out 11.17-83 to 3.7-25 winners.

Damon Dessent led the scoring with three goals, while Jarrod Donvan kicked two.

Donovan, Luke Rumpf, Brent Wood and ruckman Dan Hall worked tirelessly, as did Smithwick, who bagged a goal in his milestone game.

Coach Michael Rose was pleased to get the long-awaited season off to a winning start.

“You’re always happy if you can get a win first up in Round 1. It definitely helps with the confidence, especially leading into a Yeppoon game next week,” he said.

Scott Smithwick played his 200th game for Brothers Kangaroos on Saturday. Picture: File
Scott Smithwick played his 200th game for Brothers Kangaroos on Saturday. Picture: File

“I’m glad we could get the win for Scott in his 200th game. I said to the boys we can’t walk off this field defeated today; you’ve got to do whatever’s in your capacity to win this game for him.

“It’s a massive milestone and he’s a massive part of our club. We’re so lucky to have had him for so long, you don’t come by those sort of people very often.”

Gladstone started strongly and had more scoring shots than Brothers in the opening quarter.

Things levelled up in the second quarter but after the main break the home side took charge and stamped their authority on the contest in the final quarter.

Rose said his players had to work hard to get on top of Gladstone, who had the lion’s share of possession early on.

Chalice Atoi impressed on debut for Brothers Kangaroos before he was injured in the last quarter. Picture: Jann Houley
Chalice Atoi impressed on debut for Brothers Kangaroos before he was injured in the last quarter. Picture: Jann Houley

He praised the performances of CQ Capras trio Chalice Atoi, Ryan Jeffery and Aaron Teroi, who switched from rugby league to AFL after the Intrust Super Cup season was cancelled.

Unfortunately, Atoi suffered what Rose described as a “horrific injury” in the last quarter, almost biting through his tongue in a tackle contest.

“Chalice, Ryan and Aaron all played on the wing, they rotated through there,” Rose said.

“They were really good; they were going up for overhead marks, picking the football up, they were tackling guys, no one got through them.

“Then in a tackle contest, Chal almost bit his tongue in half. It was a horrific injury, not good at all.

“I’m not sure how long it will take to recover from something like that but I would really like Chal back in the side.

Brent Wood was one of Brothers Kangaroos best on Saturday. Picture: Jann Houley
Brent Wood was one of Brothers Kangaroos best on Saturday. Picture: Jann Houley

“Ryan was just a natural. He was really good and got some of the votes for us.

“Aaron improved massively from the first bounce to the last… so he’s secured his place in the side for next week.”

Gladstone coach Adam Sutherland said it was a disappointing result, given his team’s positive start.

“We started the game reasonably well, even though the scoreboard didn’t reflect it. We were here to play but we just got dominated for too long.

“Our last quarter we fought strongly, especially when we were well and truly down on numbers, but in the second and third quarters we got well and truly dominated.”

Sutherland said centre half back Tim Lagarenne and youngsters Lachlan Elliott and Tyson Allen, who backed up from reserves, were among his team’s best.

RESULTS

A-grade men: Brothers 11.17-83 d Gladstone 3.7-25, Panthers 11.7-73 d Glenmore 5.14-44; Yeppoon 7.13-55 d BITS 4.7-31

Women: Panthers 6.5-41 d Glenmore 2.4-16; Yeppoon 5.8-38 d BITS 1.1-7; Brothers 12.14-86 d Gladstone 0.0-0